Elliott Feiden Family Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection primarily consists of correspondence to Pepi Cypres from her siblings. It also contains other Cypres family correspondence; vital and travel documents; contracts and receipts concerning the family home in Cracow; and archival and genealogical research about the family. The correspondence consists of original documents, but some of the research is photocopied. An item-level inventory is found in the folder 11.
- Feiden, Elliott, 1920-2012 (Person)
Language of Materials
This collection is in German and English, with some Polish and Yiddish. The safe conduct travel document found in OS 84 is in French and Arabic. Except for the contracts in folder 10 and the item in OS 84, all foreign-language materials have English translations appended. The Yiddish documents also have transliterations.
This collection is open to researchers.
Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
In 1889, Emil Elias married Pepi Cypres, daughter of Peretz Cypres, in Cracow (today Poland); soon thereafter they left for America, settling in New York City. Emil Elias traveled extensively throughout the Middle East selling religious items. When Pepi became pregnant in 1891, she returned alone to Cracow to have her baby in the parental home. In December 1892, Pepi returned to New York, accompanied by her one-year-old daughter Minna (Minde), her younger brother Michael, her younger sister Malcia, and a twelve-year-old girl from the Elias family.
Pepi's sisters Auguste Landau, Adele Spira, Amalia Burstenbinder, and Helen Storch as well as their brother Bernhard remained in Europe. Bernhard Cypres was a jewelry and diamond dealer as was his son, who married into a wealthy Belgian family. Auguste (Gusti) Landau lived in Berlin and supported herself and her two children as a seamstress. During World War One she established a company, supplying the Prussian Army. Soon after the war, her daughter married a Polish lawyer and they had two children; her son remained in Berlin, working as an orthopedist for the well-known shoe house Leyser.
After World War One Emil established a coal and seltzer business in New York, before moving the family to a farm in Colchester, CT under a program set up by Baron de Hirsch. There, he made kosher wine, and Minna met her future husband, Phillip Feiden. Eventually, the family returned to New York, settling in the Bronx and working in real estate. Emil and Pepi had two more children, Nathaniel and Percy, and in 1918 Minna married Phillip Feiden. They had two sons, Barry and Elliott.
In the 1930's, Minna Feiden founded and operated a chain of lending libraries located in small towns in the Hudson Valley. Nathaniel Elias, after graduating from Columbia University with a degree in chemical engineering, worked for Thomas Edison in his Edison, New Jersey laboratory; he later established his own chemical engineering laboratory in New York City. Percy Elias graduated from Columbia with a degree in journalism; he established the New York publishing house "Emerson Books" and ran it until his death in the 1960's.
Most of the family members who had stayed in Europe did not survive the Holocaust.
Source: Adapted from biography in folder 11
0.25 Linear Feet
This collection primarily consists of correspondence to Pepi Cypres from her siblings. It also contains other Cypres family correspondence; vital and travel documents; contracts and receipts concerning the family home in Cracow; and archival and genealogical research about the family. An item-level inventory is found in the folder 11.
This collection is arranged by family member. The donor created the collection in this way, and an item-level inventory exists, so the arrangement was not altered during processing.
The material in this collection was previously housed in Mylar or interleaved with acid-free paper. Some minor changes were made during processing, but the materials were essentially left as found. Some of the materials are very fragile.
Most of the descriptive text in the finding aid was taken from the existing item-level inventory and its detailed descriptions.
- Guide to the Elliot Feiden Family Collection Undated, 1888-2003 AR 25130
- Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
- © 2012
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation
- January 22, 2013 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States